News for January 2017

Kyrgyz Court Reinstates Life Sentence Against Rights Activist

24.01.2017 Kyrgyz Court Reinstates Life Sentence Against Rights Activist

A Kyrgyz court has reinstated a sentence of life imprisonment for ethnic Uzbek rights defender Azimjan Askarov, sparking fresh international criticism of a case the jailed activist says is politically motivated.

Viasna representative speaks at Belarus hearings in PACE

24.01.2017 Viasna representative speaks at Belarus hearings in PACE

Valiantsin Stefanovich has presented the position of Belarusian human rights defenders in the course of a discussion on the situation of human rights and development of democracy in Belarus after last year’s parliamentary elections, which was held on January 24 in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg.

More deaths in prison: who is to blame?

24.01.2017 More deaths in prison: who is to blame?

An inmate has died in penal colony No. 13 in the northern town of Hlybokaje, according to the Belarusian Documentation Center. On January 4, Valiantsin Pishchalau, 30, died in an ambulance that was called to take the patient to the hospital. According to the penitentiary’s chief, the prisoner died of “acute cardiovascular failure.”

Human Rights Situation in Belarus in 2016. Analytical Review

23.01.2017 Human Rights Situation in Belarus in 2016. Analytical Review

Changes in the geopolitical situation in the neighboring countries continued to have a significant impact on both external and internal political situation in the country during 2016, which in turn affected the human rights situation in Belarus.

Priority recommendations on reforming electoral legislation

17.01.2017 Priority recommendations on reforming electoral legislation

The civil campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections presents a policy paper on its recommendations aimed at reforming the electoral legislation of Belarus. According to the campaign’s experts, these recommendations are crucial for the conduct of free, fair and democratic elections.

Amnesty International urges Lukashenka to commute death sentence of Kiryl Kazachok

16.01.2017 Amnesty International urges Lukashenka to commute death sentence of Kiryl Kazachok

"Kiryl Kazachok was sentenced to death by the Gomel Regional Court, in southeast Belarus, on 28 December. His was the fourth death sentence to be issued in Belarus in 2016," Amnesty International said on January 13.

Prosecutor's Office opens investigation into police raid violence

13.01.2017 Prosecutor's Office opens investigation into police raid violence

Dzmitry Serada, a pediatrician whose apartment was violently raided by the police on August 4, has received a copy of the decision by the Prosecutor's Office of Minsk saying that it opened a criminal case against one of the policemen who beat him during the raid. The decision was taken after Serada sent a complaint about abuse of authority by police officers. The complaint was prepared by the lawyers of the Human Rights Center "Viasna".

Human Rights Watch World Report: Belarus’ human rights friendly rhetoric not supported by genuine improvements

13.01.2017 Human Rights Watch World Report: Belarus’ human rights friendly rhetoric not supported by genuine improvements

"Belarus’ human rights friendly rhetoric was not supported by genuine human rights improvements in 2016," Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2017 published on January 12.

Imprisoned human rights defender Andrei Bandarenka faces two more years in prison

12.01.2017 Imprisoned human rights defender Andrei Bandarenka faces two more years in prison

Human rights defender Andrei Bandarenka, who is serving a sentence in prison in Mahilioŭ, has been formally charged under Part 2 of article 411 of the Criminal Code, ‘malicious disobedience to the correctional institution administration’. If convicted, he may be sentenced an additional term of up to two years.

Human Rights Situation in Belarus: December 2016

09.01.2017 Human Rights Situation in Belarus: December 2016

During the month, Viasna documented a few instances of the use of forced labor in some districts of the Minsk region, which together with the earlier recorded reports, is evidence of a systemic and systematic use of forced labor in the country.

Front Line Defenders: 281 human rights defenders murdered in 2016

06.01.2017 Front Line Defenders: 281 human rights defenders murdered in 2016

More than 1000 human rights defenders were killed, harassed, detained, or subjected to smear campaigns and other violations in 2016, Front Line Defenders reported today at the launch of its annual report in Dublin. The Annual Report on Human Rights Defenders at Risk in 2016 documents hundreds of physical, legal, and social attacks on activists around the world in 2016.

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